Lipids of sulfate-reducing bacteria and sulfur-oxidizing bacteria found in the Dongsheng uranium deposit

Lei Jiang, Chun Fang Cai, Yong Dong Zhang, Sheng Yi Mao, Yong Ge Sun, Kai Kai Li, Lei Xiang, Chun Ming Zhang

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    33 Citations (Scopus)


    U-bearing sandstones from the Dongsheng deposit in Ordos Basin contain abundant C 15-C 18 fatty acids. The fatty acids may have been derived from modern and ancient organisms including organisms from the intervals of U mineralization. A certain amount of i15:0, a15:0, a17:0 fatty acids coexist with small amounts of i17:1ω7c and 10me16:0, characteristic biomarkers of Desulfovibrio and Desulfobacter sp., respectively. This indicates the existence of sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) in the sandstones. The presence of sulfur-oxidizing bacteria (SOB), such as Beggiatoa and Thioploca, is indicated by significant amounts of 16:1ω7c and 18:1ω7c fatty acids. The existence of the SRB in the deposit, as inferred from the fatty acids, is consistent with results from fossilized microorganisms and isotopic compositions of ore-stage pyrite. This suggests that the environment may have been favorable for the SRB to grow since ore formation (9. 8-22 Ma). The bacteria may have degraded hydrocarbons directly, or indirectly utilized hydrocarbons degraded by oxic microbes in the deposits. This process may have produced 12C-rich calcite and prominent baseline humps of unresolved complex mixtures (UCM), and 25-demethylated hopanes and tricyclic terpanes. The existence of sulfur-oxidizing bacteria and sulfate-reducing bacteria in the deposit may have resulted in bacterial sulfate reduction to sulfide, re-oxidization of the sulfide to sulfate and subsequent reduction of the sulfate to sulfide. This assertion is supported by ore-stage pyrite with δ 34S values as low as -39. 2‰, and the lightest sulfate (about 11‰) measured during the Phanerozoic, a difference of more than 46‰.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1311-1319
    Number of pages9
    JournalChinese Science Bulletin
    Issue number11
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012


    • anaerobic oxidation of petroleum
    • Dongsheng uranium deposit
    • fatty acids
    • Ordos Basin
    • sulfate-reducing bacteria
    • sulfur-oxidizing bacteria


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